Louisiana: Where Land is Water and Water is Not

Published on Mar 19, 2018

I confess that it was rather darkly humorous in a stupid sort of way several years ago when Bill Clinton asked the court to define what “is” is. But it wasn’t a unique or supremely arrogant blunder on his part. It was, actually, rather ingenious. The efforts to define “is” presented such a conundrum to the court, and the gaggle of high-powered high-dollar attorneys, that the actual discussion of guilt or innocence was lost in the massive legal struggles that followed during attempts to define “is”.

It’s kind of like trying to define “water” or “land” in Louisiana.

You may think you know the difference in land and water. You may even think that any normal human with walking around sense would know the difference too.

And, you would be wrong.

Because in Louisiana “water” is whatever a group of senseless politicians defines it to be. This also applies to the definition of “land”.

I find it increasingly difficult to understand why and how the “landowners” in Louisiana are being allowed to continue to operate under archaic Napoleonic “laws” thereby claiming “ownership” of navigable waterways all over Louisiana. They can do this because the kangaroo courts have ruled that “land” is defined as whatever was noted as land on a survey map from over a hundred years ago. As we all are acutely aware, that “land” is now covered by water which, in most places, is many feet in depth.

Worse, the various governmental agencies seem to be completely unconcerned about the sham this rather senseless “law” perpetrates on the very public that supports their coffers. In a time when freedom to access what should be public waterways is being reduced daily, these agencies have turned a blind eye to the plight that affects thousands of recreational anglers. Apparently, the “land” owners have lobbied their dollars to politicians that care more for their personal pocketbooks than for the needs of the constituents they are supposed to represent.

It is a travesty and a fool’s errand to promote the idea that navigable waterways are “land”. Worse, many of the landowners have coerced the local Sheriff’s departments to patrol these private “lands” at public expense and issue citations for “trespass” on the owner’s property. Many have placed hidden cameras to capture these egregious criminal anglers and some have even stooped so low as to fire a gun in the direction of the interlopers. Seems to me that the firing of guns at other humans is frowned upon and would constitute a crime by the “land” owner. Oh wait, this water is land – right?

I have a solution.

Let’s vote all the “land” back to the original owners – the tribes that were there long before the theft of their property when it really was solid land. I suspect they would be more than happy to allow fishing and boating on the property thus returned.

More later. I’m not done chewing this bone.

Contact Gritter:  gritter@redfishconnection.com